JP Australia’s 8.5ft is a new addition to the Fusion line for 2015, which offers a versatile SUP experience covering an array of paddling scenarios. Being the most wave orientated of the group, JP’s Fusion 8.5ft is the smallest of the bunch (30″ x 130L) but still offers a stable and ‘all round’ platform – especially for mid to heavier weights or those moving onto shorter surf SUPs for the first time.
Sometimes stand up kit fits like a glove – the paddler hits go and there’s no turning back. It’s pretty much this way with the Fusion. Whatever the conditions – big and choppy, small and clean – you’ll be into sweeping fun from the off. The Fusion is extremely easy to paddle; when standing atop its deck everything feels just right.
Offering a composed ride, even when it gets hectic, the 8.5ft is extremely stable with well-thought-out volume distribution and width just where you need it. Tracking well, the Fusion climbs white water with ease and has a surprising amount of straight line speed – you’ll be at the take off in no time, make it round sections easily and avoid sneaker sets looking to take you out no bother.
Dropping in is a breeze – the Fusion’s superior glide allowing for efficient wave catching. Once on the tail, paddlers will be rewarded with tight carves (relative to the Fusion’s size) and fun tail squirts. Setting the fins up for either skatey (forward) or drivey (back) performance gives the Fusion a wide tuning range. There were a few times, during particularly fast drops, where fins broke free. This was remedied by pushing the central foil to the rear of its box and is a real minor point. This does highlight the importance of setting up your gear for different conditions though.
JP Australia have a real winning design with the Fusion 8.5ft. Fitting like a glove, those with a bit of leg power will discover a super versatile rip stick that suits common UK wave scenarios to a T. Light weights may find the wide tail and 130L volume a bit of a handful, in which case consider the brand’s pro range. As paddle surfing evolves it’s now easier to drop a board size and shred waves like you’ve always dreamed of. The JP Fusion is great for surfers across a wide and varied range of conditions who are looking for an accessible and manoeuvrable shortboard style SUP without the loss of stability and glide.
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